i was a middle son
between two wayward ones
i was more deserving of my parent's love

i had an angel's smile
hiding a vulture's bite
i had no use for your redeeming blood

aren't i glory, glorious

glory, glorious
aren't we glory, glorious
aren't we worthy, worthy of hearts at our feet

i was a pharisee
i never saw my need for grace
then your love came to me
stood next to mine and i saw that i was poor

show me i was poor
show us we are
show us we are

glory, glorious
we are glory, glorious
not from what good we have done
but from being the least

glory, glorious
oh, i dont know how i was made

my heaven tower sways atop their fleeting praise
God, i dont know how i was made

glory, glorious
are we glory, glorious?
are we worthy, worthy of hearts at our feet?
glory, glorious
we are glory, glorious
not from what we've done
but being the least

i was a wicked one


Lyrics submitted by ourpalaceofsnow

Empire song meanings
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17 Comments

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  • +1
    General Commentwell_then, I don't get that sense at all. To me, it's saying nothing about the home he was born into, just that he had two brothers that were always rebellious and naughty, so he felt that since he was good, he deserved his parents love. But while he acted good, he had a bad side ("vultures bite"), but he hid it well to appear being good.

    Cody is paralleling this with us receiving God's love. We might think that we're more deserving of God's love than others because we try and be good, but underneath all the layers we try to hide under, we all have vulture bites - we all have proud, sinful hearts. In the end, he's saying, if we claim to be good, we're really claiming that we have no need for Jesus' "redeeming blood". We act phariseeical, thinking we don't need grace, but when we compare our good deeds against God's love, we realise it's nothing. In the end, he realises what he is: "I was a wicked one".

    I kind of agree with you about the chorus. Jesus makes us glorious via forgiveness. But the last line, "worthy of hearts at our feet", talks to me of us only being worthy of humbling ourselves before God when we compare ourselves to his perfect glory, a glory requiring no forgiveness or grace, because he is the source of the glory itself. The last lines of the second chorus confirm this - we are not glorious "from one thing we have done, but from being the least". Being the least = humbling ourselves.

    "My heaven tower sways atop their fleeting praise" - ACB often make references to building a tower to heaven (see "Love Jealous One, Love") referencing the Tower Of Babel. They use this as a metaphor for being proud of your own works, and trying to gain glory for oneself via being good to garner the praises of others. However, in the end, he is only the creation - the glory belongs to the creator who makes him everything he is and gives him the gifts that make him look "good" in the first place.

    Overall, its a plea for humility. We need to realise nothing that we ever do is "good", in comparison to God it's worthless ("show us we are [poor]"). We need to recognise this, and fall down at God's feet in repentance.

    IMHO
    OnDistantShoreson August 08, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis song to me is a story. About a guy who was born into a bad home with no love. He had alot of hurt inside of him and he really thought he deserved more. So he looked in the wrong places (i was a pharisee) and he saw that he was wrong with his actions. The chorus to me says that we are glorious not because of what we've done but because of what Jesus has done for us.
    well thenon July 24, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentHonestly, this song hit me really hard. It reflected my life so much that it is scary. I used to go to church on Sundays, hand out with the young people from church, made my parents so proud, but then go and turn around and do things that would have disgraced them so much, yet I felt that I was doing nothing wrong at all.

    "my heaven tower sways atop their fleeting praise
    God, i dont know how i was made"

    I like this line especially in which Cody is saying that the person in view has built themselves a proud (I am so humble and religous) viewpoint based on the praise his/her deceived parents have given.
    soccero15on August 15, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Comment"i was a pharisee
    i never saw my need for grace
    then your love came to me
    stood next to mine and i saw that i was poor

    show me i was poor
    show us we are"



    beautiful.
    kyleeeon August 29, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Commentwow, this song hits home to me.


    "i was a pharisee
    i never saw my need for grace
    then your love came to me
    stood next to mine and i saw that i was poor

    show me i was poor
    show us we are"

    that exactly part.
    BrookeMusiccon September 02, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI very much agree with what OnDistantShores had to say, very nice.

    I also would like to throw in that perhaps ACB got the Pharisee metaphor from Luke 18:9-14, which talks about the Parable of the Pharisee and the Tax Collector. At least, that's what I thought of when I read that line, "I was a pharisee".

    Amazing song.
    I love how it parallels

    "God, I don't know how I was made."
    That line gets me every time.
    normajerseyon September 05, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentTo sum it up, He was lost but now he is found..
    "I was a wicked one"
    "I had no use for your redeeming blood"

    He was going on his own and thought he could live without God, but only to find that he, and everyone needs him..
    James Deanon October 01, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentTo sum it up, He was lost but now he is found..
    "I was a wicked one"
    "I had no use for your redeeming blood"

    He was going on his own and thought he could live without God, but only to find that he, and everyone needs him..
    James Deanon October 01, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Commentwhat does it mean when he says

    "i let go of your hand somewhere between
    love and what it demands of me"
    jaklsfjsadlkfjdsalfon October 13, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Commentxhapaboixx, I think you're on the wrong page - that line is from "The Hoard" ;-))
    OnDistantShoreson January 02, 2008   Link

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